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Here's something to chew on: Vegetarians are smarter!

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Furious George, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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  2. framed

    framed New Member

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    Sorry, meat is delicious, and full of protein. I don't buy the benefits of a vegetarian diet, and don't believe animals have human rights, not even when they're cute and fuzzy.

    From the article: "The study of 8,179 was reported in the British Medical Journal. Twenty years after the IQ tests were carried out in 1970, 366 of the participants said they were vegetarian - although more than 100 reported eating either fish or chicken. Men who were vegetarian had an IQ score of 106, compared with 101 for non-vegetarians; while female vegetarians averaged 104, compared with 99 for non-vegetarians."

    So they're making the case that smart people choose to become vegetarians. Did anyone notice they're also subtly claiming that men are smarter than women? Do you buy it? Regardless, smart people in the '20's were big fans of eugenics, that didn't make it correct. Articles suggesting that smart people think "X" thus if you don't think "X" you must not be very bright should be absorbed with great caution. They don't address any actual issues, just claim your stupid if you disagree with their position. My 6 year old sister could do that.

    I guess I could see the argument that people who are smart, and thus think more about where their food is coming from, don't like the idea of slaughtering innocent/cute animals, and thus choose to be vegetarians since its easier to think about slaughtering a tomato than slaughtering a chicken.

    ...Then again, it takes life to make life, so I don't personally feel so guilty either way, and I get the benefits of a balanced diet without needing supplements at the same time.
     
  3. mamab

    mamab New Member

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    Yeah, I caught that "subtle" hint about men's intelligence. Do I buy it? It depends on the man. ;) Do I buy that people that are vegetarians are smarter than us carnivores? Not for a second. They just didn't choose the right 8,179 people. I also think the results would have been totally different if they had done the report in a different country.
     
  4. Plumley

    Plumley New Member

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    Not really. They're just saying the kids with higher IQ's tended to become vegetarians. Apparently there's already some evidence of a link between heart disease and IQ. The researchers said vegetarianism may be a reason for this. They also said it may be due to other factors, as well. I don't see it as a call to action at all, just reporting of a finding that's interesting.
     
  5. dong

    dong New Member

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    Framed: The gendered political broadside might have stirred up more careful thought but you do realise that as far as empirical evidence goes politics has little place in determining bias. I also see you've pre-empted the inference that this will somehow have a place in the moral vegetarianism debate, but insofar as the appeal to naturalism is a fallacious one, this carries no actual moral commitment whatsoever. I've used it takes life to make a life as grounds for arguing that there is no need for a strong categorical commitment either way- a balance between all lifestyles is most responsible and best for the ecosystem.

    That said, I'm willing to bet that there is a real bias, or even a series of them. The quickest expression I have on hand is something I'm going to quote from a friend:

    The likely explanation for this is that vegetarianism is an upper-middle class fashion statement.

    This was partially denied in the article, but I still have my strong reservations. Knowing basic principles of epidemiology, I have a host of questions that would verify systematic biases, strength and power of the evidence and therefore how seriously we can take such a study. There are a number of possible inconsistencies that the article allows for but does not explore.

    For those interested in gender distinctions, I would also refer to normative values for gender bias in IQ tests, consider why females in the upper socio-economic classes are more inclined to be vegetarian (consider Liz O'Neill's response), and obviously look for examples of confounding variables. Personally I think that such a study is fundamentally flawed (this looks to be an ad-hoc long term cohort study but the use of IQ tests is controversial as the readings vary wildly across the children age bracket and any statistically significant margin away from the mean), and wonder how it could ever have been approved for in the first place, as generally all it does inspire is moralistic propoganda predicated on BS claims. Finally, people also need to take stock on what the mean actually means. Its import can be high, or it can be very limited, as the broad spectrum of IQ scores itself demonstrates.

    For the record, I'm not ever going to take any report that claims an IQ test is a comprehensive measure of "intelligence" seriously. It is certainly impossible to construct a meaningful intelligence test based on natural ability alone; it necessarily entails exposure, which a higher SES is biased towards.
     
  6. hokeshel

    hokeshel New Member

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    I love meat! Red meat, red meat, yay,yay, yay! I don't think it will dumb me up and my intelligence has nothing to do with me eating it. People do a lot of things that are bad for them, over-eating, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking. That doesn't mean they are less intelligent. I think it has much more to do with priorities, wheel-power and environment than intelligence when it comes to these decisions.
     
  7. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    Studies like this are loosely based on hardcore evidence, and mostly on patterns. In this case, they've compared the eating habits of people with high IQ's to those with low, and came up with unconclusive evidence. I think for the most part, this studies is applicable to the middle-lower class of America. People who are intelligent, frequently research things applicable to their lifestyle. And it just so happens that your diet is a huge part of your life, and when you learn that eating red meat increases your carcinogen intake, and therefore dramatically increases your chances of getting cancer, you'd figure, meat is bad. [And yes, this is a fact. The proteins and fats in animal products are shown to have direct correlation with certain cancers]

    As you may or might not know by now, I work in a health food store. We cater to many types--vegans, those with food allergies, body builders, elderly, etc., and I have noticed a trend, it's typically the vegans and vegetarians are the ones buying organic produce [Do you really think that shiny apple you eat is shiny when it comes off a tree? If not, what do you supposed eating wax does to your body? Same for insecticides. DDT anyone?] and supplements.
     
  8. tater03

    tater03 New Member

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    I personally don't believe this one. Even if it is true I would not become a vegetarian I enjoy eating meat way to much. That and I am not real big on a lot of vegetables. Wish I did like more of them but there are not to many I care to eat on a daily basis.
     
  9. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    Once again, I for the most part, agree with the article. Rarely have there been women philosophers and intellects. That's not to say that women don't have the capacity to be an intellectual [I believe that every single human being has the capacity to be an intellectual] they just choose to take a different path through life. My mom [and many others] figured they had a pretty face and a nice body, and that alone would get them through life, so what's the need to do good in school other than to make your parents happy so you can go out with your friends on the weekend?
     
  10. hokeshel

    hokeshel New Member

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    Furious George, maybe there wasnt' much choice in what many women have done. It wasnt' all that long ago that women couldn't have certain jobs or study certian things in college. If they were allowed college, they often were denied denied degrees. As late as the 1960s in some states, women were not allowed to make financial decisions on their own, so, they couldn't attend college without their father opr husband's permission and financing. They coudn't get loans without a male cosigner. This sexist attitude effects the person socially, familially and individual. How likely is someone to educate theselves independantly if they are fighting against all of this or if they have been raised to belief that this is how things are, just accept it. So, I really think that the prior generations' lack of educated women was more as a result of sexism than the attitude your mothers and some others may have. The gap is closing with every generation. Do I even need to bring up childbaring, childrearing and poverty as reasons for women having a delayed or subpar education?
     
  11. FourBear

    FourBear New Member

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    Vegetarians smarter than carnivores...? I don't buy this one just yet. It's mostly because I don't trust the validity of IQ tests. Studies show that they remain biased, varying in degree from test to test.
     
  12. Plumley

    Plumley New Member

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    Or sometimes it was chosen for them. It's only in what I suspect is your lifetime that women have had the opportunities they currently have. There has been active discrimination against women in terms of education and career. There have been women who were just as talented as men in every area but they weren't encouraged and, sometimes, weren't allowed to develop or display those talents. Discrimination still exists, it's just not as obvious as it used to be.
     
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